Arte Es Vida

Junk Charm Bracelet by arteesvida
February 11, 2009, 1:07 pm
Filed under: Art Of Jewelry Design, Metal Work, Mixed Media, Non-Traditional Jewelry

My mom saw one in a store recently and fell in love with it, so I made her her own, personalized version (modeled in the picture by my daughter) for her birthday this year. The charms are bits and pieces I have collected over the years and couldn’t seem to get rid of, including ones I made myself, like the resin filled bottlecap. The links are prebab, but when I soldered them shut I used extra solder to texturize the surface of each link. This gave it a one-of-a-kind hand-hammered appearance. Super easy!

Old Pictures by arteesvida
May 4, 2007, 10:50 pm
Filed under: Linky Goodness, Metal Work

Lots of great old pictures, many of which are in the public domain therefore can be used in art projects!

Rubber Stamped Jewelry By Sharilyn Miller by arteesvida
December 22, 2006, 12:31 am
Filed under: Beading, Book Reviews, Metal Work, Mixed Media, Rubber Stamping, Wire Work

Sharilyn Miller is the well-known founding editor of Somerset Studio, Bella Armoire, and Art Doll Quarterly…three magazines on my must-buy list every time they are published! She has published two other books, Stamp Art and Stamp Artist’s Project Book: 85 Projects to Make and Decorate (which includes some of Gloria Page’s work), both of which I have read, enjoyed, and found to be incredibly creative and useful. So being a worshipper at the altar of Sharilyn, you can just imagine how excited I was when she published “Rubber Stamped Jewelry” devoted solely to what creations jewelry artists can make with stamps!

One of the best things about reading her books, is she never makes assumptions about her readers level of skill. So whether you are brand new to jewelry making, or have been making jewelry longer than I have been alive, you will find this book to be a great addition to your library.

The book includes greatly detailed sections on wire work (including beautiful S-Links and S-Clasps), working with rubber stamps, working with polymer clay (including creating beads, molds, and antiquing), fiber arts embellishments (including knotting, braiding, and embellishing), shrink plastic embellishments, and other embellishments (foam, copper sheeting, glass, and paper eyelets). Some of these techniques were brand new to me so I found this an excellent resource guide!

I have always been a big fan of “creative use of materials”. I love taking odd bits and pieces and turning them in to something beautiful. Many of the projects in this book accomplish this task. One of my favorite projects was the use of tiny 5 sided sales tags. With little holes punched in, and gorgeous stamps and embellishments they made gorgeous jewelry! She also creates amazing projects utilizing vinyl tubing from the home improvement store, glass marbles, and dominoes.

I think my favorite project in the book was “Copper Sunrise”, which used rubber stamps to emboss copper sheeting, and a butane torch to create fabulous colors on the copper. (If you haven’t yet discovered the goodness of a butane torch, they are hugely fun to play with, and only cost about ten dollars for a small one at your local Home Depot.)

Some of the projects require specially ground glass and soldering skills, but the directions are walking you through what to purchase for these projects, where to purchase them, and how to use them correctly. If these techniques are as new to you as they are to me, then !you will find this attention to detail very helpful!

To find out more about the author, see more of her jewelry designs and her workshop teaching schedule, check out her homepage,

Foot Jewelry by arteesvida
December 21, 2006, 11:25 pm
Filed under: Beading, Metal Work, Non-Traditional Jewelry, Wire Work

Barefoot Sandal Projects

Easy Barefoot Sandals

Easy barefoot sandles made with elastic cording, hairpipe beads, and pony beads.

Tug-A-Bead Barefoot Sandal

A two-needle weave beadwork barefoot sandle with diagrams but no pictures.

Ruby’s Barefoot Sandals

Made with seed and bugle beads.

Carribbean Foot Jewelry

An easy foot jewelry project with beads and beading elastic.

”Shoewels” Foot Jewelry

Bead and wire work project.

Toe Rings

Invisible Toe Ring

Clear stretch cord and simple beads.

Fabricated Toe Ring

A very cool toe ring made out of copper plate.

Wrap Toe Ring

Very easy wire work project!

Embellished Shoes

Beach Shoes

Replace the straps on your flip-flops with beaded straps!

How T0 Make Spirit Flip Flops

Use fabric or bias tape to make cute coordinating flip flops!

How To Make One Of A Kind Flip Flops

A great project for plastic or “jelly” flip flops. Embellish with crystals and faux gems!

Seashell Sandles

Call it beach camoflauge! Decorate your flip flops with just some little shells and some industrial strength craft glue!

Beaded Tennies

Don’t let your flip flops have all the fun…you can bead your canvas tennies too!

The Encyclopedia Of Jewelry Making Techniques by arteesvida
December 16, 2006, 10:43 pm
Filed under: Book Reviews, Metal Work

On The Shelf: The Encyclopedia of Jewelry Making Techniques by Jinks McGrath

The first thing I did when I opened this book was look for a section on repousse. I have been searching high and low for anything still in print on repousse. When I was a teenager, I had access to the lapidary on the military base my dad was stationed on. A ba-trillion years later, without that free metalsmithing access, I’ve become more and more interested in coldsmithing, and metalsmithing I can do with a small torch at home.

This book covers the entire range of metal work, including a section on wirework. There is just an enormous amount of information, ranging from stamping and stone setting to engraving and enameling. All the information is well presented with beautiful photos and in-depth, easy-to-follow information.

I wouldn’t go so far as to say “this is the only book you will ever need” for metal work. But it comes really darn close!